20 August 2017

Somalia: Kenyan Security in Search of Al Shabaab Suspects in Mombasa

Photo: Stephen Astariko/The Star
Police cars in Garissa (file photo).

Kenyan police said Saturday that they are pursuing three accomplices of a wanted terror suspect who was gunned down in the coastal city of Mombasa on Friday evening.

Coast Regional Police Commander Larry Kieng told a news conference in Mombasa the three terror suspects are allies of Hussein Said Omar alias Babley who was shot dead after engaging security personnel in a shootout from his hideout before he was overpowered.

Kieng said they believe the three suspects escaped with injuries during the operation mounted by special anti-terrorism police unit on Friday evening.

Kieng added that the four were planning a major terrorist attack in Mombasa County.

"We are reliably informed the three were planning attack on Friday but our officers acting on intelligence information thwarted the imminent terrorist attack," the police commander said.

He said security have intensified intelligence gathering and patrols in the war on terrorism.

The enhanced operation comes after the killing of Omar, one of the most wanted terror suspects in the country.

Omar is the logistician for the Al-Shabaab militia operating in Boni forest and is behind the killing of innocent Kenyans in Mwalei, Pandanguo and Milihoi.

He is brother to another terrorist who is also on the run by the name Dogo.

Omar came to limelight in 2013 where he was involved in facilitating a group of French foreign fighters as they were running away from Al-Shabaab militant group.

He later on took up a bigger role in facilitation when his brother Ahmed alias Dogo left for Somalia and sent a cell of fighters back in late 2014.

He has been involved in various circles of financiers who supported local harakat and his brothers' needs in Somalia.

He later joined Ismael Shosi at the majengo house raid in Jan 2016 and later Junda residence of Salim Hanjaury alias Mario.

Early this year, the government released names and photos of seven most wanted members of the Jaysh Aman cell operating from Boni and placed a 20,000 U.S. dollar bounty on each.

They are Idriss Issack, Mohamed, Abdullahi Diyat alias Ubeyd, Sharif Arab, Ahmed Mohammed alias Jerry, Andikadir Haret Mohammed Yusuf Kuno alias Abu Ali and Ahmed Bashir.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the seven are believed to be operating on the Kenya-Somalia border and allegedly behind terror attacks in the Northeastern region, particularly in Mandera County.

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